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  1. rafgomez

    rafgomez New Member

    Feb 25, 2008
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    2 Police Procedure Questions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by rafgomez, Apr 12, 2009.

    I've done everything short of becoming a cop to find these answers. If anyone here can provide me with either answers of direction, I will be in your debt.

    1) How do detectives identify the corpse of an infant? No dental records or fingerprinting done. Dna cannot be done because the mother died during child birth.

    2) What happens to the murder weapon after the murderer is convicted?
  2. rikithasta

    rikithasta Member

    Apr 4, 2009
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    Buffalo, NY
    I'm fairly sure murder weapons are stored in a warehouse typed place. That's what various crime dramas show at any rate, I know they aren't the best sources of information.

    They use witnesses to identify adults, I think think that would be the only way to identify an infant in the absence of any scientific records. Perhaps they would look through missing persons or something to that effect. If there's no one searching for the child, I'm not sure if the baby could ever be identified.

    It's disturbing to think about, but it's (probably) realistic.
  3. lordofhats

    lordofhats Contributing Member

    Nov 9, 2007
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    The Hat Cave
    DNA can be used. The mother isn't the sole parent. Who is the father? Surely they can narrow down an infants corpse to a few possibilities and look for similarities in DNA between the infant and the potential fathers. There is a new technique that even allows direct comparison of Y-Chromosomes, though that can only be used to look for male family members as females have no Y-Chromosome. But DNA is still possible even if the mother is dead. They can even check grandparents or aunts and uncles for possible DNA connections. Plus, even if the mother is dead, you can still DNA test a corpse, or a pair of them.

    Other than that, I think the only way is the gradual elimination of all other possibilities through logical analysis. babies don't disappear and die everyday in such a way that their identities are completely unknown. Surely of all the possibilities that don't fit can be eliminated until there are only so many left.

    Such evidence would be stored with the case file and put into a secure warehouse. Most locations dispose of case files after a certain amount of time has passed, but I think it varies by location.
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hospitals take footprints of infants immediately after birth for identification purposes, as one of the measures to prevent accidental or deliberate switching of infants. They are every bit as unique as fingerprints (they are at the same level of detail).

    Of course this is not available if a baby was not delivered in or admitted to a hospital. DNA has been used in some cases to establish parentage of a baby, such as cases of discarded babies of teen moms. However, that is usually a means iof confirming identity rather than establishing it in the first place. A lot of it is standard police work - interviewing witnesses, checking surveillance cameras, tracing clothing or other mundane evidence, etc.

    As for murder weapons, it depends on the weapon. If it is an illegal firearm, it remains in police lockup until the department conducts mass disposals. Some such firearms may be legal for auction, if they are legal to own and still have registration numbers. If the weapon is legally registered to an owner who is not convicted of the crime, the weapon may be returned to that owner.

    Other weapons may be destroyed, but most are not illegal to own under most circumstances. They may be returned to an owner or put up for auction. This is also true if it isn't strictly a weapon, such as a hammer or a motor vehicle.

    The FBI maintains a collection of firearms and other weapons for reference purposes. Some may be used in ballistic or other tests to help identify an unknown weapon used in a crime, for example. Most of these are weapons siezed in criminal cases.

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